If you’re an experienced online user in your personal life (aren’t we all these days?), you probably know the huge benefits of an ecommerce store. But try to venture into running a B2B ecommerce platform and it’s a whole new ballgame.
Because Business to Business customers demand extra functionality and personalization than B2C ecommerce. Which is why you need to take a customer-centric approach to reflect the experiences that buyers are getting from sites like Amazon and eBay.
And for this to happen, you need to look out for features that will take your site from providing just an order-entry portal to offering a seamless multi-channel experience.
So let’s see 5 of those fundamental features that primarily control the growth of your B2B ecommerce solution.
You might already have CRM, ERP, marketing automation, shipping, payment etc in place. Now, all you need is a platform that can integrate and connect these systems. It will not only help you streamline your business operations but integration will also enable all these different functionalities to be performed in one platform.
To further smooth the process, you can also ask vendors for customer references regarding the integrations you are looking for. This will help you assess how experienced the vendor is at implementing these integrations on your B2B ecommerce platform. And what will your customers get in the end? That’s right, an enhanced user experience.
2. Catalogue configurations
Paper catalogues are a mess, don’t you agree? They are not only hard to produce and send out but also the PDFs are rigid and hard to search through. So, what does that leave us with? An interactive digital catalogue.
Wait, what? An interactive digital catalogue is one that allows you to control which products different buyers can see and purchase with account-specific catalogue views, thereby streamlining their purchasing process.
Moreover, look for a B2B ecommerce solution that offers a master catalogue (if you have multiple sites). This will help you manage everything in one spot rather than having to duplicate it across all sites.
3. Customer profiling
What is customer profiling, you ask? Well, it is basically a process of building a complete picture of customer based on the forms they fill out, pages they view, orders they had placed in the past, and so on.
Customer profiling is a must-have feature for any B2B ecommerce platform. Based on this, you can easily determine the price, discounts, order quantity, payment terms, MOQ etc.
Additionally, customer profiling will help you offer personalized promotions, custom catalogues apart from order tracking facility and one-click reordering.
4. Omnichannel presence
B2B retailers of the past were wary of the security of mobile purchasing, that mindset has drastically shifted. Nowadays, more and more wholesale customers are interacting with brands through a variety of channels be it your website or mobile app or social media.
Seeing this shift, it only seems reasonable to offer your customers a fully customized, responsive and scalable B2B ecommerce solution, one that offers them the same level of consistency and convenience in their work-related transactions as they find in their personal shopping experiences.
Omnichannel presence is another must-have feature that will help you create a seamless, pleasant experience, keeping your business customers coming back.
5. Mobile optimization
With more and more people preferring to conduct their online shopping through their smartphones instead of laptops and desktops, one simply cannot ignore the realities of mobile internet use.
Which is why responsive design is the need of the hour. Look for a B2B ecommerce platform that comes pre-equipped with modern website templates. These templates can automatically adjust page layouts to fit any screen size and are therefore perfect for working on any device. Plus, they help raise the website’s SEO value, what more could you want?
Business customers are looking for modern, online ecommerce experiences, similar to the ones they experience during their B2C transactions. In such a scenario, you are left with two options- either evaluate your own platform to see if you are prepared to deliver accordingly. If not, lookout for a platform that does.
Nowadays, it isn’t sufficient just to handle the expectations of modern customers. The time has come to find a B2B ecommerce solution that is well equipped to handle all the complexities of Business to Business purchasing besides keeping the customers happy. Or else, your customers will start looking for other options. And that’s not good for business.
Also to make sure you are on the right track, do not forget to avail a free trial period to see if the solution you are seeking fits your current marketing needs or not.